Biography of John B. Campbell

John B. Campbell, a strong and forceful representative of the Muskogee bar and a former judge of the court of appeals of Oklahoma, belongs to that class of men whose standards of life are true and whose endorsement of every plan or measure means a consistent and continuous support thereof.

John B. Campbell comes to the southwest from Wisconsin, his birth having occurred in Lafayette county, on a farm near Gratiot, March 12, 1868, his parents being Francis and Mary (Cole) Campbell. The father was born in the north of Ireland and was of Scotch descent, while the mother, who was of remote Irish ancestry, was born in Lafayette county, Wisconsin, where her parents had settled as frontier people. The ancestry in the Cole line is traced back to colonial days and the family gave several representatives to the American army in the Revolutionary war.

John B. Campbell was a farm boy at the period when the farm did not offer the splendid advantages of the present day and his early experiences brought to him a knowledge concerning the value of industry, energy and determination. Ambitious to acquire a thorough education, he supplemented his course in the public schools of his native county by study in Ripon College of Wisconsin, and then matriculated in the State University, from which he was graduated in 1893 on the completion of a classical course, while at almost the same time he completed his law course and won his B. L. degree. He was admitted to practice before the Wisconsin supreme court and opened an office in Darlington, Lafayette county, where he remained for three years and during two years of this period he had valuable practical experience as district attorney of the county.

Judge Campbell left home to become a resident of Chicago, but after a brief time devoted to law practice in that city he was attracted by the opportunities of the growing southwest and made his way to Sulphur Springs, Texas, where he continued until becoming a resident of Oklahoma in April, 1899. Throughout the intervening period he has been identified with law practice in Muskogee and not only did he soon win a place as one of the prominent representatives of the bar of this city but gained equal recognition for his professional powers throughout the state. He has long been closely identified with those activities and interests which have figured in the development of city and county and in the direction of public affairs. Before Oklahoma was admitted to the Union he had-served for two years as city recorder and police judge of Muskogee and the excellent record which he made in the latter position, as well as his recognized ability in the practice of law, led to his selection as the republican candidate for the court of appeals of Oklahoma in the fall of 1914, with the knowledge, however, that it would be practically impossible for anyone to overcome the normal democratic majority of the district. While doubtless not without that laudable ambition which is so great an incentive to capability and faithfulness in public office, he nevertheless regards the pursuits of private life. as in themselves abundantly worthy of his best efforts and in the years of his practice his devotion to his clients’ interests has become proverbal. For a number of years he has practiced as a partner in the firm of Maxey & Campbell, regarded as one of the strongest legal combinations not only of the Muskogee bar but of the state. He is the author of “Campbell’s Abstract and Index,” which he prepared from census cards in the office of the United States commissioner of the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians, a work that shows conclusively the status of each Creek Indian allottee and his family, both in the ascending and descending line. Added to this data is a cross index and the publication is the first authoritative presentation of facts involved and offered to the general public. It is a work of the greatest value, establishing the titles of land of the Creek Nation, of which Muskogee was an integral part prior to the establishment of the state of Oklhoma.

In 1898 Judge Campbell was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Warn, a native of Cuero, Texas, and they are parents of a daughter, Catherine C. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell are consistent and active members of Grace Protestant Episcopal church of Muskogee, in the work of which they have taken most helpful part, Judge Campbell serving as superintendent of the Suday school and in various offices of the church. Consistent in his belief, yet ever ready to listen to intelligent argument, strong and steadfast in his purposes, he is a man on whom to rely, for what he promises he will fulfill, and what he attempts, he accomplishes. He has ever realized that the path of duty is an uphill one and that its heights bring a broader view and a wider vision. He has climbed steadily and his outlook o’er life is large.



Benedict, John Downing. Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma: including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922.

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